Just before their “big meeting” employees all over the world are asking themselves a crucial question: is today the right day to present my idea? The out of town bosses, and the special consulting firm will all be in the same room for the first time in months. If these employees are anything like me, their list of mental armageddon scenarios can be pretty stifling, so it’s important for workplaces to understand these anxieties.
- I’ll nervously consume five cups of coffee before the meeting and render myself unable to concentrate.
- Everyone at the table will turn their heads in synchrony, amazed that I can in fact, speak.
- An impassioned argument will erupt across the table, damaging team relationships, and making collaboration impossible for the next two weeks.
- I’ll wear the wrong tie.
- My coworkers will be typing furiously on instant messengers as I’m talking and I’ll spend the next two weeks wondering what they thought.
- When I finish speaking, a coworker will look up from his smartphone and ask, “Were you talking to us?”
- The room loves the idea, the company implements it, I get promoted and in practice the idea fails.
- I’ll accidentally and inadvertently provoke the more political members of our team and become their target for the foreseeable future.
- My manager will interrupt and ask, “How much is this going to cost?”
- Unsure of my actual name, my supervisor will give credit to another employee “Jerry” instead of asking my name and admitting to not knowing it.
- I’ll realize halfway through that I missed a belt loop and spend the rest of the meeting wondering who else notices it, and if that’s preventing them from taking me seriously.
- My managers will be impressed, and they will suddenly expect way more out of me, creating a standard I’m unable to live up to.
- Before entering the conference room, I will accidentally leave my computer unlocked, and my co-workers will send fictitious emails from my email account.
- The room is completely silent and for several minutes, everyone wonders who should respond first.
- The room will be intolerably cold.
Despite these anxieties, the good news is that cold company cultures are easily avoidable. Only fashionable Farrah is going to notice a mismatched tie, and if Jerry gets all the credit, employees can always re-introduce themselves to their boss. As a manager it’s important to have faith in your employees and their creativity and always be receptive to new ideas. The great thing about sharing new ideas is that they can be built upon and inspire even more innovation. Not everyone is going to love your vision to replace the office desks with standing desks, but it’s important to foster a culture in which employees and managers alike are receptive to new concepts. Next time you’re in a meeting, whether you’re a manager or an employee, take a deep breath, and share your idea. If it doesn’t work out, you can always laugh it out and avoid spending time thinking “what if”?
About the AuthorMore Content by Chris Spann